Conservatives, Environment, Media, News, Op-Eds, Republicans

Study: Misleading Conservative Media To Blame For American Climate Change Inaction

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Fox News has found to be a source of misinformation on global warming — in fact, Fox can be blamed for heavily influencing conservative rhetoric on the issue. The result of this? An energy “debate” in America, with massive profits for a select few and eventual self-extinction on one side versus cheaper energy and sustainable technology on the other.

According to a study published in the Public Understanding of Science journal, “…conservative media use decreases trust in scientists which, in turn, decreases certainty that global warming is happening. By contrast, use of non-conservative media increases trust in scientists, which, in turn, increases certainty that global warming is happening.”

By undermining public trust in scientists, the right wing is able to accomplish many things — Big Oil can continue to ravage our environment with huge subsidies and tax breaks for doing so, and the religious right can continue their wars on education and women with a strong voting base in favor of it.

The Guardian reports, “The study also examined previous research on this issue and concluded that the conservative media creates distrust in scientists through five main methods.” Those methods are:

1) Presenting contrarian scientists as “objective” experts while presenting mainstream scientists as self-interested or biased.

2) Denigrating scientific institutions and peer-reviewed journals.

3) Equating peer-reviewed research with a politically liberal opinion.

4) Accusing climate scientists of manipulating data to fund research projects.

5) Characterizing climate science as a religion.

The Guardian also reports on the media outlets surveyed in the study:

The results suggest that conservative media consumption (specificallyFox News and Rush Limbaugh) decreases viewer trust in scientists, which in turn decreases belief that global warming is happening. In contrast, consumption of non-conservative media (specifically ABCCBS,NBCMSNBCCNNNPR, The New York Times, and The Washington Post) increases consumer trust in scientists, and in turn belief that global warming is happening.

By framing scientific consensus as a debate, Fox has managed to actually make it a debate. The truth is that there simply isn’t one — at least, not among those that actually know what they’re talking about. In May, I reported for Addicting Info the following:

“Are you tired of debating whether climate change is real, and if so, if it is caused by humans? Do you believe that science should be trusted to find these answers? If so, good news! Science has those answers, and contrary to the beliefs of many climate change deniers, the views of scientists on climate change are virtually unanimous: It’s very real, and it’s heavily influenced by human behavior.

That really shouldn’t surprise anyone that recognizes how massive our presence on this planet is. Agriculturally, we use 40 percent of the land surface of the planet to grow or raise food, meaning that our agriculture alone is more major an event for the planet than anything since the last ice age. If you don’t think that’s affecting our world, you’re delusional.

In a survey among papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, the consensus of the community was far weighted toward human-influenced climate change. Around 4,000 had a position on human influence out of the 11,994 papers, which were the collective work of 29,000 scientists. Although 83 papers, or 0.7 percent, disputed humans as a cause, the vast majority, 97.1 percent, agree that humans are influencing climate change. The remaining 2.2 percent weren’t clear.”

97 percent consensus is not a debate. Don’t believe in climate science? Disprove it, have it peer-reviewed, and follow the same process that has been behind advancement for hundreds of years.

Watch Bill Nye destroy FOXNews climate change deniers BELOW:

Reposted from Occupy Democrats with permission.

About Justin Acuff

Justin Acuff is a political activist, writer and admitted news junkie. He has written hundreds of articles that have been read millions of times. Justin is a Senior Editor for Addicting Info, the owner and managing editor of Young Progressive Voices, and contributes to other publications as well. The best part? He isn't even 21 yet. Follow his Facebook fan page to get access to his latest articles, find his website here, or follow him on Twitter.


9 thoughts on “Study: Misleading Conservative Media To Blame For American Climate Change Inaction

  1. Good posting and sadly quite true. We have a large portion of our country that has been brainwashed by the constant propaganda that spews forth from Fox and other ‘rightwing’ publications.

    Posted by 503me | August 10, 2013, 11:33 am
  2. Well …… having heard all of that same old argument , I personally remember reading in the news paper in 1970 that two college students performed a test using green house gases and proved Global Warming due to CFC’s in the atmosphere destroying the Ozone , Since then 43 years later we have a warming of the planet , and there are still people denying that its actually happening but the planet is still getting warmer , So when do we start to do something about it ? ? ? .

    Posted by Leslie Todd | August 11, 2013, 11:01 am
  3. Wait the AccuWeather guy is a real scientist?

    Posted by John Forbes | August 12, 2013, 9:27 am
  4. Oh … do your own investigation…. Bill Nye has a degree in what field of study???

    Posted by Brian | August 12, 2013, 9:57 am
  5. You write that “Agriculturally, we use 60 percent of the land surface of the planet to grow or raise food”, and link this claim to a TED talk. That talk says that “it’s about 40% of the earth’s land surface that is devoted to agriculture”, and specifically cites 1.6 billion hectares (ha) used for crops and 3.0 billion ha for pastures. That’s a total of 4.6 billion ha, which in fact is 31% of the 14.8 billion ha land surface of the earth. That’s just over half of the 60% you cite (and in fact isn’t really “about 40%” either, since its just over three fourths of 40%). So what is the basis of your 60% figure?

    Posted by Carl F. Hostetter | August 12, 2013, 10:08 am


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